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What are you making for Thanksgiving dessert?


Wendy DeBord
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jsmeeker, are you resting your dough after rolling and before baking? Once you have the dough in the pan, put it in the fridge for a half hour before baking.

Pie, and pie, and pie and pie and pie! Thanksgiving is a big excuse to make and consume more than one pie --

pumpkin, pecan, and cranberry merengue

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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The chocolatee pecan pie was a big hit last year, so I'm making it again this year. Not sure if I'm making anything else; I really need to call the in-laws and ask them about details. All we've been told so far is, "Get there for 5pm." I'd say that was the easy part, but I-95 on Thanksgiving day - blech.

Joanna G. Hurley

"Civilization means food and literature all round." -Aldous Huxley

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Pumpkin pie from scratch (I wonder where that term originated) will make an appearance on our table. I have a bored Kuri squash hanging around so perhaps I'll use that in the pie or slice and roast for a side dish. I have a five pound bag of frozen blueberries from one of my favorite places in the world and would love to make a blueberry pie. Perhaps cook and thicken a couple cups with bit of lemon zest or juice and cinnamon. Then add a cup of thawed, drained berries, pour into shell and bake? Vanilla/cinnamon ice-cream would pair well with both pies. I love pies. They're like love and comfort in a crust. :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I'm actually thinking of making Ina Garten's pumpkin banana mousse tart. I haven't tried it before, but I like the idea of a pumpkin mousse (I like pumpkin, but not in a traditional pie form) with an undercurrent of banana.

After reading this article in the LA Times, I think I might make Maury Rubin's Cranberry, Caramel and Almond Tart instead. I think his tart crust is perfect and every tart I've made out of his book has been delicious.

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In today's St. Louis Post (stltoday.com) a Thanksgiving Cider Pie made with apple cider sounds so unique I'll have to add it to the requisite pumpkin.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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I'm actually thinking of making Ina Garten's pumpkin banana mousse tart. I haven't tried it before, but I like the idea of a pumpkin mousse (I like pumpkin, but not in a traditional pie form) with an undercurrent of banana.

I made this once and it was overly sweet.

You might want to consider cutting back on the sugar.

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jsmeeker, are you resting your dough after rolling and before baking?  Once you have the dough in the pan, put it in the fridge for a half hour before baking.

Pie, and pie, and pie and pie and pie!  Thanksgiving is a big excuse to make and consume more than one pie --

pumpkin, pecan, and cranberry merengue

Yeah. I'm doing all that.

The recipe calls for the crust to be par-baked prior to being filled, then filled, then baked to completion (this is for the pecan pie). I also think it calls for the the use of pie weights or whatever to be used. I'd need to check the recipe, but I seem to recall steps where it says to press down the foil (they tell you to place foil over the crust during the inital par-baking) to keep it from bubblng up. Although I must be confusing something here because if I used pie wieghts, why would I press down? I could be (in my mind right now) combining the procedures for a traidtional pie crust with a sweet pastry tart. LOL.. I dunno. I'll have to go check the actual pecan pie recipe that I make and report back what the actual steps are (and I've always followed those steps exactly)...

I'll be back.

Edit: I'm back.. Here is the procedure for the crust...

2. Sprinkle egg white mixture over flour mixture and, with blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together. Shape dough into ball with hands, then flatten into 4-inch disk. Dust dough lightly with flour, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

3. Roll dough on lightly floured surface into 13-inch circle and transfer to 9-inch pie pan, preferably glass. Press dough into corners and sides of pan, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim edges of dough to make 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhanging dough under so that folded edge is flush with rim of pan. Flute edge, (see illustration 1).

4. Chill shell until firm, about 1 hour. Prick sides and bottom with fork and line entire shell with heavy-duty aluminum foil, pressing foil firmly against shell and extending it over fluted rim (illustration 2). Prick foil with fork (illustration 3) and return shell to refrigerator while oven is heating.

5. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, pressing once or twice with mitt-protected hands, if necessary, to flatten any puffing, until crust is firmly set, about 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bottom begins to color, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, brush sides and bottom with egg yolk, and return to oven until yolk glazes over, about 1 minute longer. Remove from oven, and set aside while preparing the filling.

So, I was confsing it. There are no pie weights called for in this recipe. So, what I think might be happening is that during the step that has me press down on the foil while baking might be causing the dough to pull down the sides of the pie pan. Could I just use wieghts instead? Would they interfere with the holes that are pricked in the bottom of the pie crust?

Or is something else going on here? The fluted edges look pretty good and well defined when I pull the pie plate out of the fridge, but after baking, they really flatten out.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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I don't know what all that pressing is about, unless it's supposed to substitute for pie weights. I would recommend using the pie weights.

I'm thinking maybe your flutes are falling because of the weight of the foil?

I would skip the foil and just use the weights, make sure your crust is nice and cold when you put it in the oven.

The only time I've had my flutes flop is when I used one of those Mrs. Somebody's rings that is supposed to keep the crust from burning. The weight of it crushed the fluting, so I used it as a frisbee. Foil has never let me down.

Do you know about this site -- Taunton Press? There's good pie stuff here.

http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/Tips-Te...list.asp#Baking

Also, Wendy DuBord on this site has a really robust pie practicum.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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We're having:

Pecan Pie,

Vanila Pound Cake with Cranberry and Apple compote, and

Brown Butter Pear Tart.

I am really excited about the pear tart.

jsmeeker, how much butter is going into that crust? The reason I ask is that I had the same issues with a tart crust a while back. The tart filling itself was absolutely heavenly, but I COULD NOT get that pastry to hold, no matter what I did. Finally, I just decided that the recipe was bad and there was too much butter - I found a different pastry recipe and haven't had a problem since.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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I'm torn. Either an Asian Pear-Cranberry cobbler or a big honking tray of gingerbread with some sort of fabulous autumnal gelato on top from Capogiro. Maybe Burnt Sugar or Bourbon-Butterscotch! :wub:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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We're having:

Pecan Pie,

Vanila Pound Cake with Cranberry and Apple compote, and

Brown Butter Pear Tart.

I am really excited about the pear tart.

jsmeeker, how much butter is going into that crust? The reason I ask is that I had the same issues with a tart crust a while back. The tart filling itself was absolutely heavenly, but I COULD NOT get that pastry to hold, no matter what I did. Finally, I just decided that the recipe was bad and there was too much butter - I found a different pastry recipe and haven't had a problem since.

ingredients for the pie crust

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour , plus extra for dough and rolling surface

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1/2 teaspoon table salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter , chilled, cut into 1/4 -inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , frozen, cut into small pieces

1 large egg white , chilled, thoroughly mixed with ice water (about 2 tablespoons) to equal 1/4 cup

1 large egg yolk , beaten with 1/8 teaspoon water

(the egg yolk gets brushed on the partially baked shell, then returned to the oven to give a nice shine)

I think I'll do it again, but this time with pie wieghts. No need to press it down. Maybe that step is there because they (the author?) think not everyone has pie weights? I dunno. It's a Cook's Illustrated recipe and they have other recipes that DO call for their use. But I think I would need to line with foil so I can get them out easily. The idea is to pour the pie filling into a warm shell and then return it all to the oven.

it tastes great. Just doesn't look as pretty as I would like it to look for a holiday table.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Wow. It calls for butter AND shortening. I dunno about the foil. I would go with parchment paper filled with pie weights (or rice if you don't have weights). If it STILL falls (as was the case with my tart crust disaster), I have a theory that if there is too much fat in the dough when the fat melts the whole thing just crumbles. I sat and watched through the oven door as the very last attempted shell (that had been allowed to rest, chilled, lined with parchment, and weighted) stubbornly sank into itself. I think I started screaming at that point and my sweet auntie made me a gin fizz. Then I broke down and used a Pilsbury crust because I just couldn't take it anymore.

Anyway, moral of the story - even highly reputable recipe sources can have typos and can screw up sometimes, if it still doesn't work just use a different crust, and sometimes pastry is controlled by the devil himself.

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Wow. It calls for butter AND shortening. I dunno about the foil. I would go with parchment paper filled with pie weights (or rice if you don't have weights). If it STILL falls (as was the case with my tart crust disaster), I have a theory that if there is too much fat in the dough when the fat melts the whole thing just crumbles. I sat and watched through the oven door as the very last attempted shell (that had been allowed to rest, chilled, lined with parchment, and weighted) stubbornly sank into itself. I think I started screaming at that point and my sweet auntie made me a gin fizz. Then I broke down and used a Pilsbury crust because I just couldn't take it anymore.

Anyway, moral of the story - even highly reputable recipe sources can have typos and can screw up sometimes, if it still doesn't work just use a different crust, and sometimes pastry is controlled by the devil himself.

I don't think it's a typo (the fat and shortening). I've seen the same thing from another "technical" cooking source. (Alton Brown). I'll go with your advice. Parchment and pie wieghts (I have both).

I've used pre-made shells before. And they look nice and stay nice. Flavor isn't so hot, though. Also, there is just that personal satisfcation I get when I make ALL of it myself.

Also, I'll pop over to the Cook's Illustrated webpage and their discussion boards to see if I can get some more insight.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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^That's quite a bit of fat for 1 1/4 cups of flour. Half a cup of fat, total, is more in line with the proportions I've seen, so I'd change the recipe to 6 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of shortening. (Perhaps the recipe author uses more bench flour than you do when rolling out the dough, so the dough contains more flour than yours.) Also, is your dough chilled properly? If the fat is too warm, it can melt more easily. You also might try letting the lined pie plate/tart ring set up in the fridge for 15 minutes after you've placed the dough in, so the fat can firm up again.

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improper oven temp can also be a problem. most people don't have oven thermometers. i always err on the side of a hotter oven. what you want is the heat to quickly melt the fat between the layers while creating steam to separate the layers and at the same time causing the proteins in the dough to gelatinize so that it doesn't sink into itself.

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^That's quite a bit of fat for 1 1/4 cups of flour. Half a cup of fat, total, is more in line with the proportions I've seen, so I'd change the recipe to 6 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of shortening. (Perhaps the recipe author uses more bench flour than you do when rolling out the dough, so the dough contains more flour than yours.) Also, is your dough chilled properly? If the fat is too warm, it can melt more easily. You also might try letting the lined pie plate/tart ring set up in the fridge for 15 minutes after you've placed the dough in, so the fat can firm up again.

It's well chilled when it goes into the oven. I let it sit in the fridge (after placing in the pie pan and trimming and fluting the edges) at least as long as suggested. The dough is very firm when I pull it out. I don't think that is the problem.

I don't use much flour. Just enough to keep it from sticking. Maybe it IS A typo? I can compare that pie dough recipe to others from the same source. (i.e. look in my CI book instead of the web) My understanding is that this is their "standard" pie dough.

Edited by jsmeeker (log)

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Change of plans. Now I'm baking Apple-Cranberry Sour Cream Struesel pies. And still making two flavors of cranberry sauce (Cranberry-Orange with Grand Marnier and Cranberry-Jalapeno with Tequila).

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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pumpkin cheesecake, gingersnap crust, caramel, candied pumpkin seeds

some sort of pie...probably bourbon pecan, or apple

some sort of chocolate tart

Generally pretty predictable stuff--I don't think the holidays are really a time to experiment since we have so many guests coming over for dinner, and I think most people have a set idea on what Thanksgiving dinner should be like.

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jsmeeker, I use foil to blind bake my pie crusts and it turns out fine, although I do it differently than CI does. After chilling the dough, I press foil on it and place a layer of pennies on the bottom for weights. (I'm too cheap to buy weights.) I don't prick it and don't have problems with puffing.

Could it be that youre overworking the fat into the flour? You do need enough gluten in the dough to give it some structure. Also, twelve tablespoons of fat is a little more than most recipes call for, but you're using unbleached AP, which probably requires a little more fat than either bleached AP or pastry flour.

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We're toying with the idea of apple pie with gingerbread ice cream. But we won't be doing turkey; just cornish hens.

MelissaH

Change of plans here too. We've acquired a loaf of mandarin orange–cranberry swirl bread, which is now destined for a bread pudding. Saves me the trouble of rolling out pie crust in a kitchen not my own. :wink:

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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pumpkin cheesecake, gingersnap crust, caramel, candied pumpkin seeds

some sort of pie...probably bourbon pecan, or apple

some sort of chocolate tart

Generally pretty predictable stuff--I don't think the holidays are really a time to experiment since we have so many guests coming over for dinner, and I think most people have a set idea on what Thanksgiving dinner should be like.

You get to do two Thanksgiving dinners now that you've crossed "the great divide" :wink:.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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^Yes...and Thanksgiving is the best food holiday of the year!  :biggrin:

Indeed! Except, what do you do when everyone is absolutely stuffed--if from the other end than the turkey--by the time dessert comes around?

I always make a very traditional pumpkin pie (organic pumpkins, light cream or 1/2 & 1/2 vs. family's can of evaporated milk, a combination of brown sugars and plenty of spices) since it is my favorite dessert, period.

However, I just got asked to add a second dessert which cannot contain nuts, much as I looked longingly at a gorgeous peacan-studded square cake Abra just test-baked for Thanksgiving.

I'm peeling almost two pounds of chestnuts and don't want to go too elaborate after that. Since I am bringing it, it can't be a crostata pulled right from the oven.

So possibilities in mind:

Apple-quince fruit tart--

Possibly gallette, depending on whether I wish to do an elegant pattern with alternating pink and golden slices on top of a custard or go with something more rustic. I've just started to cook with quinces and love the color they become when cooked.

Chocolate gingerbread layer cake, bare sides.

Filled with applesauce (need something to keep it adhesive so second layer doesn't slide off) & frosted with whipped cream with sprinkling of candied lemon peel and diced candied ginger.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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